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What is an annulment?

An application for an annulment (also called a decree of nullity) is an application for an order from the court that the marriage be declared invalid.

On what grounds can a marriage be declared invalid?

Invalidity may result from any one of the following:

  • either partner was not of marriageable age;
  • bigamy (that is, one partner was already married at the time of the marriage ceremony);
  • the people were within a prohibited relationship (such as sisters marrying brothers, parents marrying children, half-brothers marrying half-sisters);
  • either or both of the parties did not consent (the marriage took place through fraud, duress, mistake or mental incapacity);
  • the ceremony was invalid (for example, the celebrant was not properly appointed).

Can a party to an annulled marriage, re-marry?

Partners to a void or invalid marriage may remarry at any time without entering a bigamous relationship [Family Law Act 1975 (Cth) s 71].

Can a party to an annulled marriage still apply for orders about children or property?

A partner to a void (annulled) marriage is still able to institute proceedings in the Family Law Courts for orders about children, maintenance and property [Family Law Act 1975 (Cth) s 71].

A child of a void marriage is covered by the Family Law Act 1975 (Cth) [ss 60E, 60F].

Annulment  :  Last Revised: Tue Dec 18th 2018
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